The US Looks for a More Muscular Response to Syria; Damascus Sells Gold in a Sign of Poverty

Syria seems to be trying to sell Gold from its reserves in Dubai. A sign that it’s money is running low due to sanctions and revolt.

The Obama administration insists that it is about to make some important changes to its Syria policy. Everyone expects that it will assume greater leadership by helping to arm the opposition. So far Washington has raised the rhetorical bar while refusing action. Sanctions have been the most it is willing to offer. The other countries — Turkey, Saudi and France – have refused to take the lead. They want to see an American commitment before taking their hands out of the pockets.  On the NSC, Steve Simon, who has not been keen on military involvement, seems to be making way for Derek Chollet, whose old boss was Anne-Marie Slaughter. She is for military intervention in Syria, as she made clear on the Charlie Rose Show that I appeared on with her, Fouad Ajami and Thomas Friedman. Ajami makes the most compelling argument for a more active US role in embracing the “future” in Syria. Here is what Josh Rogin has to say about Chollet’s appointment in Obama searches for a ‘Plan B’ in Syria:

The new push includes adjustments in personnel handling the portfolio. Before March, National Security Council Director Steve Simon headed up the internal interagency process. Now, multiple officials confirm that NSC Senior Director for Strategy Derek Chollet has been added to the leadership of the Syria policy team and has been coordinating the interagency process for several weeks. Simon, Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman, and State Dept. Special Advisor Fred Hof are still active on the Syria portfolio.

Clinton says Syria is at a “crucial turning point”. She will be in Paris tomorrow to try to figure out what the Western states can do that won’t suck them into another Iraq, but that will show some teeth. Right now, Russia is calling the shots in Syria. Ironically, the last country we pushed Russia out of,  because we demanded greater control over its affairs, was Afghanistan. Most American policy makers today would probably agree that Russian controlled Afghanistan was much better than what came after. Ammar Abdulhamid suggests that Syria is more liberal and less Islamist than Afghanistan or even Egypt and Tunisia. He believes that US caution about the rise of Islamists in Syria is ill-founded. Amal al-Hanano hares Abdulhamid’s determination to promote secular and pacifist Syrian interests.  She is calling on secular Syrians to organize and counter-balance the Islamists.

News Round Up

Syria Said to be Seeking Gold Sales From Reserves: Reuters Link
By John Irish and Amena Bakr

PARIS/DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Syria is trying to sell gold reserves to raise revenue as Western and Arab sanctions targeting its central bank and oil exports begin to bite, diplomats and traders said.

Western sanctions have halved Syria’s foreign exchange reserves from about $17 billion, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday after a meeting with about 60 nations aimed at coordinating measures against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“Syria is selling its gold at rock bottom prices,” said a Western diplomatic source, declining to say where it was being sold.

A second diplomatic source confirmed the information, adding that Damascus was looking to offload everything it could to raise cash, including currency reserves.

On Feb. 27, the European Union agreed more sanctions including prohibiting trade in gold and other precious metals with Syrian state institutions, including the central bank.

Two gold traders in the United Arab Emirates said the Syrian government had been offering gold at a discount, with one saying it was making offers at about 15 percent below the market price.

The trader said Damascus was selling small volumes of around 20-30 kilos which were easier to offload, with offers being made through private accounts set up with free email providers……

The World Gold Council estimates Syria had about 25.8 metric tonnes of gold as of February 2012, representing about 7.1 percent of its total reserves….The Syrian pound hit a record low on the black market in March of around 100 to the dollar, compared to 47 before the protests erupted, sharply raising the cost of imports…

At Wednesday’s spot prices, Syria’s total gold reserves are worth around $1.36 billion. …

“The most stunning, unsettling conclusion I drew from the leaders of the Free Syrian Army was that they have essentially got no help from anyone. They are literally running out of ammunition while Assad’s forces are being resupplied by Iran and Russia,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told The Cable in an interview.

Lieberman and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spent their Senate recess on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border, meeting with Turkish officials, FSA leaders, and refugees.

“What they want us to do is to lead. They want us to lead the Friends of Syria, who have given them increasingly sympathetic rhetoric but not the wherewithal to defend themselves,” he said

The Syrian internal opposition is buying weapons and ammunition on the black market at exorbitant prices and claims that large parts of the Syrian military are demoralized but are unwilling to break with the government until they see the opposition has real international support.

“They are all waiting for the U.S. to say ‘We’re in this,'” Lieberman said.

There was at least one State Department official inside the McCain-Lieberman meeting with leaders of the FSA, Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh and Col. Riad al-Asaad, two U.S. officials confirmed. The FSA leaders asked the United States to provide RPGs, anti-aircraft guns, and ammunition. The FSA leaders also said they have proof that the Assad regime is using helicopter gunships to attack civilians in the city of Idlib, as apparently shown in this YouTube video.

Turkish officials told McCain and Lieberman that they were willing to let weapons flow over their borders and consider other more aggressive steps to help the internal Syrian opposition, but that they won’t do so unless Washington leads the way…..

Obama administration searches for a ‘Plan B’ in Syria
Posted By Josh Rogin Wednesday, April 18, 2012 -Foreign Policy

The White House is unhappy with the options it’s been given on Syria and is searching for a new strategy for removing President Bashar al-Assad, The Cable has learned.

“There was a fundamental decision made at the highest level that we need a real Syria policy with more options for the president,” one administration official with knowledge of the internal deliberations said. “Our allies were coming back to us and saying ‘What’s your next move?,’ and we were forced to admit we didn’t have one.”

The new push includes adjustments in personnel handling the portfolio. Before March, National Security Council Director Steve Simon headed up the internal interagency process. Now, multiple officials confirm that NSC Senior Director for Strategy Derek Chollet has been added to the leadership of the Syria policy team and has been coordinating the interagency process for several weeks. Simon, Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman, and State Dept. Special Advisor Fred Hof are still active on the Syria portfolio.

Chollet, the former deputy to Anne-Marie Slaughter at the State Department’s Policy Planning shop, has also been nominated to be the next assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, replacing Sandy Vershbow, who is now deputy secretary general of NATO. Chollet has taken on the day-to-day management of the interagency process while he awaits confirmation.

New options are now being considered internally, including another discussion of setting up buffer zones inside Syria, one administration official confirmed. The administration has also authorized direct contact with the internal Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and at least one State Department official has met with the FSA’s nominal leaders in Turkey.

The rethink comes eight months after Obama explicitly demanded the Syrian leader’s removal, saying, “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

His administration is still struggling to come up with a way to make that call a reality…..

UN monitors flee Syrian protest after gunfire

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian security forces opened fire Wednesday on anti-regime demonstrators surrounding the cars of a U.N. team meant to monitor a shaky cease-fire, sending the observers speeding off and protesters dashing for cover, according to activists and amateur videos.

The fresh violence in a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian capital, provided the first public glimpse of the work of the small team struggling to reinforce the international community’s stumbling efforts to end 13 months of deadly conflict in Syria.

The shooting, which wounded at least eight people, could also complicate the deployment of a larger U.N. mission to help a cease-fire take hold between President Bashar Assad’s forces and opposition fighters.

The difficulties of the team’s mission was clear Wednesday during its visit to the suburb of Arbeen, just northeast of Damascus.

The team did not announce its plans to visit the area, but a local activist said residents guessed they were coming when tanks posted throughout the area withdrew early Wednesday.

People quickly drew up signs as well as a list of the 34 residents killed since the start of the uprising and information on the scores who have been detained, an Arbeen activist named Ahmed said via Skype. He declined to give his last name for fear of retribution.

Amateur videos posted online showed hundreds of demonstrators crowding around at least three U.N. Land Cruisers, waving Syrian flags and chanting against the regime. In one video, a man with a microphone and huge speakers on the back of a pickup truck led the crowd in singing “Bashar, Bashar, we will not kneel!”

A handwritten sign apparently taped by a demonstrator on one of the cars read, “The murderer keeps killing, the observers keep observing and the people keep up the revolution.”

In another video, the protesters were walking down a boulevard surrounding the cars when a boom rang out, sending demonstrators scattering. Smoke rose in front of the crowd and the cars sped off, sirens blaring. In yet another video, protesters sprinted down side streets while gunfire is heard nearby.

Ahmed, the local activist, said the group was marching toward a square where the government had posted plain clothes security offices called shabiha and government supporters holding a counter demonstration.

“We started walking with the observers thinking that they’d protect us, but then the shabiha started shooting at us, even when the observers’ cars were at the front of the march,” he said.

After the observers left, security cars drove through the area firing, injuring about 20 people, he said.

“Once the committee was gone, there was no one else to see what they were doing,” he said.

The team’s head, Col. Ahmed Himiche, declined to comment on the incident, saying the team would report only to the U.N.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight protesters were wounded in Arbeen.

The group, which relies on an activist network in Syria, also said government forces shelled opposition areas in the provinces of Homs in central Syria and Idlib in the north.

For its part, Syria’s state news agency said roadside bomb attacks in Idlib and Aleppo killed 10 security officers and one civilian. The incidents could not be independently verified. The Syrian government bars most media from working in the country…..

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Syrian opposition forces of provoking the government’s backlash in order to thwart the cease-fire. He urged nations that have leverage with the opposition to force it to abide by cease-fire….

“There must be a tough demand not to allow any provocations and respect the cease-fire,” Lavrov said….

Clinton Says Syria Measures to Be Discussed Tomorrow in Paris
2012-04-18 By Roxana Tiron

April 18 (Bloomberg) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she will attend a meeting in Paris tomorrow to dicuss with allies what further measures may be taken against the Syrian government and in support of the opposition movement. The “ad hoc group” meeting will be led by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Clinton said, speaking to reporters today in Brussels.

Syria is at a “crucial turning point” at which the government either will abide by the UN-backed peace plan or face further sanctions, she said.

Foreign Policy

The ceasefire appears to have broken down, as levels of violence remain high in several regions in Syria. Up to 70 people have been killed by heavy shelling in the Jourat al-Shayah, Qarabis, Bayada, and Khaldiya districts of Homs, areas that have remained out of government control. According to the Local Coordination Committees, clashes continued in Deraa and Aleppo, as well as in the Idlib province where government troops were accompanied by tanks and helicopters. The Syrian government has said it is willing to comply with Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. However, the regime has only agreed to a small United Nations’ observer mission of 250 monitors, and it refuses independent air support despite recommendations of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said, “I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country.” Meanwhile, the advance team of monitors has not yet been permitted to operate throughout the country as negotiations on a memorandum of understanding between the Syrian government and the U.N. team have stalled.

The leading voice of the opposition talks to PJ Media about the state of the conflict.: Syria’s Revolution: An Interview with Ammar Abdulhamid
by Barry Rubin, April 17, 2012

(Ammar Abdulhamid has been the most articulate and credible voice of the Syrian opposition and the movement to overthrow the current regime. Barry Rubin interviewed him to get a clearer view on what’s going on in Syria and on what the future prospects are for the bloody conflict.)

What should we know about the Syrian regime that we don’t already know?

That it is not reformable and that its key leaders can never be part of the solution.

What are the causes of the uprising?

Lack of developments when it comes to basic services and infrastructure along with increasing poverty, absence of any accountability on part of the leadership, the sense of impunity that corrupt officials on the local and national levels exhibit on a daily basis, the failure of President Bashar al-Assad to show himself as a true reformer, and his increasing involvement with the corrupt practices of his family and friends.

Can you describe for us the Syrian opposition, both within the country and outside?

We have two types of opposition: the traditional and the new. The traditional opposition is made of old parties and figures who have been around for decades, and the new one is made up of the activists who started and continue to lead the revolution.

The arrogance of the traditional opposition and their inability to provide effective representation and guidance to the revolutionaries created a problem of mistrust between the two, and does not augur well for the ability of such coalitions as the Syrian National Council (SNC) to provide effective leadership either now or during the transitional period. The new opposition is pragmatic, goal-oriented, and open to new possibilities as far as relations with the outside are concerned, or how the state should be administered in the future. The traditional remains ideological, dominated mostly by Leftist and Islamist elements, and unable to be proactive or to come up with actual strategies and programs for effective communication and representation.

So, the real dichotomy is between these two types of opposition groups, not between those inside the country and those outside.

You have often been critical about the organization and strategy of the leading opposition groups. Can you tell us more about your view, and also provide a description of the main opposition organizations?

Traditional opposition groups keep thinking along ideological lines, and they fail to listen to the protesters and their demands. They keep seeing leadership as a right rather than a responsibility. They keep confusing making policy with making pronouncements and confusing coming up with strategies with academic research. This is why they can never be effective leaders.

For this, the international community needs to conduct outreach efforts to identify leaders and forces on the ground. They need to work with existing traditional opposition in order to make them better at the task of communicating with grassroots protesters and enablers of the new emerging leadership. Many believe that the regime will never negotiate its way out of power, but it seems the same applies for traditional opposition figures and parties. They will never accept giving their positions to the new emerging figures; they seem incapable of coming to terms with the failure of their ideologies at inspiring this mass moment.

Many observers are concerned that the Syrian opposition might be dominated by Islamists who would institute an even worse government for Syria, at least in international terms. How would you respond to that view?

There are Islamists, that’s for sure. But Syria’s ethnic makeup is simply too diverse to allow for the kind of dominance we saw in Egypt or Tunisia. However, since winning elections is about organization and not just demographics, and since Islamists are better organized and funded, there is definitely a need for domestic and international players concerned about Islamist influence to begin preparing themselves with all seriousness for the transitional period ahead.

What is the strategy of the Assad regime in trying to survive?

Transforming the crisis into a sectarian conflict; play on minority fears about the Sunni Arab majority in order to bring these minorities to the side of the regime or at least to neutralize them. Use overwhelming force and foster the expansion of pro-Assad militias and death squads to terrorize and punish the population of restive communities. Play on the fears of Western powers toward Islamists by trying to cast the revolutionaries as Salafist. Rely on support from Iran, Hezbollah, the Maliki government in Iraq, and Russia to keep the international community at bay and incapable of adopting strong policies toward the situation….

Why should the world support the Syrian opposition’s struggle?

Besides the geopolitical gain of weakening Iran’s grip over the Middle East and containing its rise as a major source of instability there, there is the added humanitarian advantage of preventing a rapid balkanization of our troubled region. The Assads are driving the country and the region to the brink of implosion into warring ethnic enclaves. The world needs to stop them and to help the Syrians in their search for alternatives.

What do you think is likely to happen in Syria?

Irrespective of my wishes, the inability of the Obama administration to move quickly on this matter has allowed for the situation to turn into a proxy war involving all major regional players as well as Russia and China. This is going to be a longer-term struggle and the humanitarian cost will be too high. I will keep up my activities meant to support the local resistance and empower the more pragmatic and representative elements to emerge as the true leaders of Syria down the road, but this will not be an easy task.

We were let down by the leaders of the international community and the leaders of the traditional opposition, not to mention our intellectual elite, and it’s clear by now that we have no true friends. Still, we have no choice but to soldier on, as we transform from a protest movement into a more complex resistance and liberation movement.

(For more on Ammar Abdulhamid: he is a liberal Syrian pro-democracy activist whose anti-regime activities led to his exile in September 2005. He currently lives in the United States. He is the founder of the Tharwa Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to democracy promotion, and is a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He writes Syrian Revolution Digest, a blog dedicated to following events and monitoring trends related to the Syrian Revolution.)

Any Given Friday
How a battle over a Facebook page became a war for the soul of the Syrian revolution.

….Last week, before the Facebook polling closed for the name of the April 13 protests — the day after the U.N. ceasefire deadline, the day in which solidarity was key — one name was in the lead: the Friday of the Armies of Islam. Yet another divisive (and completely off message) choice. This time, however, peaceful activists were ready to take action and fight back in a battle for the Friday name.

On Wednesday, April 11, media activists on Facebook and Twitter began a campaign to “rock the vote” for Friday’s name. They advocated the secular, inclusive choice, “A Revolution for all Syrians.” It was an intense campaign. Usually around 8,000 votes are cast each week, but last week there were more than 30,000. It was as much a battle between Islamic sentiment and secular inclusiveness as it was a struggle between those dedicated to solely an armed resistance, and those who still valued the power of nonviolent activism. ….
The gap between the two names slowly narrowed, and eventually the message of unity won by almost 2,000 votes. This small but significant victory unleashed palpable excitement among Syria’s online activists: There was a sense that they had been heard and gained control of the revolution’s message, at least for the moment. It was a needed boost of energy to a group of worn-out activists and, more importantly, it proved that a revolution within the revolution was not only possible but necessary.

By Andrew J. Tabler
April 18, 2012

…Syrians are afraid to express their demands as part of the “Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, pluralist system” and have demonstrated in lesser numbers than expected over the past week. Even if a viable ceasefire can eventually be brokered, protests and other forms of civil resistance will be the key means to judge what the people want going forward….  severely limiting the people’s ability to use civil resistance to make Assad “step aside” — the stated goal of President Obama. The regime has had a far harder time dealing with civil resistance over the past year than armed resistance. Assad’s actions thus far indicate that he wants to use the Annan plan to grind down not only the armed opposition, but the overall protest movement as a whole….

WSJ RT Brussels: EU Goes Silent On Assad Departure
2012-04-18 By Laurence Norman

….Last August, to considerable fanfare, Washington and Brussels made a joint declaration on Syria. Enough was enough, they said. The rising death toll, continued repression and broken reform promises of President Bashar al-Assad …Officials note that Mr. Annan’s six-point plan is not just about stemming the violence. It also demands the Assad regime allows peaceful protests and accepts a Syrian-led political process to address what it calls “the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.”

The hope in Brussels is that once the violence has ebbed, Mr. Annan will unleash a political reform and democratization process whose momentum will sweep away Mr. Assad, like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh before him.

Syria must be held to the law of war
By Laurie R. Blank and Geoffrey S. Corn, Special to CNN
April 4, 2012

Comments (634)

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452. Tara said:

Batta’s lovers, enjoy!

احتل رسام الكاريكاتور السوري الشهير، علي فرزات، الدرجة العاشرة عالميا والأولى عربيا في لائحة أصدرتها مجلة “تايم” الأمريكية أمس الأربعاء بأهم 100 شخصية تأثيرا ونفوذا إيجابيا في العالم، فيما حل الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في خانة “الأشرار” التي ضمت 4 شخصيات.

في اللائحة 5 عرب فقط، أولهم فرزات (الدرجة 10) والمصرية المعروفة بصاحبة قضية كشوف العذرية، سميرة إبراهيم (20) والسعودية الملحة على حق المرأة بقيادة السيارة في المملكة، منال الشريف (27) وزعيم حزب النهضة الإسلامي بتونس راشد الغنوشي (29)، كما ورئيس وزراء قطر ووزير خارجيتها، حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني، الذي احتل الدرجة 48 باللائحة.

ومن “الجيران” ضمت اللائحة مريم دوراني (26) وهي عضو المجلس الولائي الأفغاني التي تعالج مشاكل النساء تحت حكم طالبان من خلال برنامج إذاعي. كما والمخرج الإيراني الحائز على أوسكار عن فيلمه “انفصال” أصغر فرهيدي (34) إضافة لوزير خارجية تركيا أحمد داود أوغلو، الذي تقاسم الدرجة 39 مع مواطنه علي باباكان، نائب رئيس الوزراء. ثم المرشد الأعلى للجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية علي خامنئي (68) وفي الدرجة 81 حل بنيامين نتنياهو.

أما من وضعتهم “تايم” في خانة خاصة ضمن اللائحة وسمتهم “الأشرار” ويمكن مراجعة أسمائهم مع بقية المختارين في موقع المجلة على الإنترنت، فهم: الزعيم الكوري الشمالي كيم يونغ أون، وزعيم حركة طالبان الملا محمد عمر، وأمير مليشيا “حركة الشباب” الصومالية الشيخ مختار أبو الزبير، إضافة للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد.

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April 22nd, 2012, 8:10 pm


453. Afram said:

Allahu Akbar,,Allahu Akbar..Bahrain is on fire

The great persian empire is expanding like a blowfish or may I say faster than Formula 1 Grand Prix car.\22z499.htm&arc=data\201244-22\22z499.htm

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April 22nd, 2012, 9:08 pm


454. ann said:

Syrian opposition undermined by splits and infighting, emails show – 23 Apr 2012

Syria’s main opposition group’s efforts to topple the regime are being frustrated by defections, split factions and deep ideological divisions, leaked emails from the leader of the Syrian National Council show.

Messages published in the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper were purportedly lifted from SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun’s account by pro-regime hackers in retaliation for last month’s expose of President Bashar al Assad’s private correspondence.

They disclose how splits and factional infighting are undermining the Council’s capacity to combat the regime.

In one message dated Feb 26, Mohammed Farouk Tayfour, the leader of the influential Muslim Brotherhood bloc and deputy president of the SNC, wrote to Mr Ghalioun demanding that spokesman Bassma Kodmani be removed from her position after she expressed that Israel is a necessity in the Middle East, apparently appearing alongside Israelis in an interview with a French TV station.

“She should stop her statements that are harming the council,” he wrote.

Occupying one quarter of the SNC’s 270 seats, the Muslim Brotherhood’s sway has alienated other factions in the umbrella group.

Last month the Syrian Kurdish opposition walked out amid claims that the SNC refused to include wording about the rights of Kurds. Representing around 10 per cent of the Syrian population, losing the Kurdish minority represents a dangerous fragmentation of the Syrian opposition.

“The Kurdish National Council is not ready for dialogue with us at this moment. A dialogue will only take place after their next conference, in two or three weeks”, listed the minutes of an SNC meeting on April 4.

The continued discord highlights what activists have called a failing of the international community to recognize the exiled SNC, circumscribing its political clout inside Syria.

Last month the Friends of Syria group — which includes Turkey, the US, Britain, France and Gulf states — recognized the SNC as “a legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” falling short of recognition as the legal government in exile they had hoped for.

“Because there wasn’t any real impetus for change from outside in the first five-six months, that killed the opposition, made them look weak on the Syrian street,” political activist Rami Jarrah said.


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April 22nd, 2012, 9:34 pm


455. Syria no Kandahar said:

Did Abdelrazak Tlass beard lover enjoy FSA killing of Dr Issa Mossa?

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April 22nd, 2012, 9:39 pm


456. ann said:

Sharmine Narwani Post Confronting Hate Mongering On The Previous Thread:

Must Read!

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April 22nd, 2012, 10:22 pm


457. jad said:

Erdogan is threatening Syria with Nato:

كيليتشدار أوغلو يحذر من التدخل العسكري
أردوغان يهدد سوريا بـ«الأطلسي»

محمد نور الدين

استغل رئيس الحكومة التركي رجب طيب أردوغان عودته من الدوحة ليواصل التصويب اليومي الحاد على خصومه من سوريا إلى العراق، مطلقا مواقف في كل اتجاه ومن مختلف المواضيع.

وانطلاقا من كلام وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون من أن لتركيا الحق في تزويد حلف شمال الأطلسي بالمعلومات عن الوضع على الحدود مع سوريا، أعلن أردوغان أن كلام كلينتون مهم، وانه في حال تكرار سوريا انتهاك الحدود التركية، فإن أنقرة ستستخدم حقها وفقا للقانون الدولي. وقال «إننا سنفعل ذلك ونزوّد الحلف بالمعلومات، ليكون أعضاء الحلف على بينة مما يجري على الحدود. إن حدود تركيا هي حدود حلف الأطلسي. وإذا حصل شيء فإن الحلف يتدخل وفقا للمادة الخامسة من نظامه. وإذا ما حصل انتهاك ثان للحدود (من جانب سوريا) فسنستخدم حتى النهاية كل حقوقنا الطبيعية الناتجة من القانون الدولي».

وتنص المادة الخامسة من معاهدة الناتو على أنه في حال تعرّض أي بلد عضو في الحلف لأي اعتداء، يمكن الأعضاء الباقين التدخل دفاعا عنه، وفقا للحق الذي أعطته المادة 51 من ميثاق الأمم المتحدة.

وفي الموضوع السوري، قال أردوغان إنه نصح الرئيس الأميركي باراك اوباما لدى لقائه به سابقا في كوريا الجنوبية أن يكون أكثر حزما تجاه دمشق. ونفى أن تكون أنقرة تنفذ ما تريده واشنطن، مضيفا ان «لنا روابط وعلاقات قربى وحدودا مع سوريا، وهي في الأساس مسألة دولية. ولدى لقاء زير الخارجية أحمد داود اوغلو نظيره الصيني (يانغ جيتشي) قال له الأخير إننا لا نفكر كما في السابق، وهذا مهم جدا».

وانتقد أردوغان اقتراح روسيا إرسال 300 مراقب إلى سوريا لأنه غير كاف، و«قد قلت لأمير قطر انه يجب إرسال على الأقل من ألفين إلى ثلاثة آلاف مراقب. كما يجب إدخال الأمم المتحدة في العملية، ومراقبة انسحاب الدبابات إلى الثكنات. وإذا تحقق ذلك فلا يمكن ظلم السلطات السورية ان يستمر بسهولة».

وشكك من جديد بتطبيق مبادرة مبعوث الأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية الى سوريا كوفي انان، معتبرا انه «ليس في نية سوريا سحب دباباتها إلى الثكنات، وعدد المنشقين عن الجيش السوري بلغ 60 ألفا، وكل عدد الجيش السوري 290 ألفا»

[ … ]

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:01 am


458. ghufran said:

for those who still thnik that the regime can be reformed:

قامت قوات الأمن ظهر اليوم الأحد باعتقال الطبيب والناشط السياسي جلال نوفل، وذلك من مقر عمله في مشفى الهلال الأحمر بدمشق.

[ blue diamond ]

I do not have time to list all of the non violent anti regime syrians who were subjected to unlawful arrest, torture and illegal detention, but there is rarely a day without such shabeehi behavior. I suspect that the doctor will be released but why did he have to be arrested in the first place?

FYI, the guy is a secular activist who was a member of the communist party. feel free to correct me if the story is not true.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:04 am


459. jad said:

Here are some of the work of Alqaeda’s students terrorist in Homs that some on here insist that they did NOTHING wrong.

Sure! stay in your fantasy lands:

من هنا مر التتار من هنا مر ” الجيش الحر ”

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:11 am


460. jad said:

Release my comment, now.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:30 am


461. jad said:

I don’t have time to this childish and useless tricks.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:33 am


462. jad said:

سوريا | أنان يدعو دمشق إلى التوقف «نهائياً» عن استخدام الأسلحـــة الثقيلة
المراقبون الدوليّون في ضيافة «الجيش الحرّ»

اقتحم جنود سوريون مدينة دوما، أمس، وقصف المتمردون قافلة عسكرية في شمال البلاد، فيما حثّ الوسيط الدولي للأمم المتحدة، كوفي أنان، الجانبين على العمل مع فريق مراقبي وقف إطلاق النار الموسّع التابع للأمم المتحدة

وصف الوسيط الدولي للأمم المتحدة، كوفي أنان، قرار مجلس الأمن بنشر 300 مراقب في سوريا بأنه يمثل «لحظة حاسمة لاستقرار البلاد». ودعا كلاً من قوات الحكومة السورية ومقاتلي المعارضة إلى إلقاء السلاح والعمل مع المراقبين العزل لدعم الوقف الهش لإطلاق النار. وقال أنان «يجب أن تكف الحكومة عن استخدام الأسلحة الثقيلة بشكل خاص، وأن تسحب كما تعهدت مثل هذه الأسلحة والوحدات المسلحة من المراكز السكنية».

ويقول معارضو الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، إن قواته واصلت قصف معاقل المعارضة في انتهاك للهدنة، فيما تقول السلطات إن «مجموعات إرهابية مسلحة» واصلت حملة التفجيرات ضد أهداف حكومية. وقال نشطاء إن جنوداً سوريين مدعومين بالدبابات قتلوا ستة أشخاص على الأقل أمس الأحد. وأضافوا إن الجنود، تدعمهم الدبابات، اقتحموا بلدة دوما شرق دمشق، فيما فتحت قوات الأمن النار في إدلب في شمال البلاد.

وأظهرت لقطات فيديو على الإنترنت، قال ناشطون إنها في دوما، الدخان يتصاعد من المباني الرمادية وأصوات إطلاق نار كثيف في الخلفية. وأظهر مقطع الجنود وهم يرتدون خوذات وسترات واقية من الرصاص بالقرب من دبابة. وقال المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان إن ما لا يقل عن أربعة جنود قتلوا إثر تفجير عبوة ناسفة بناقلة جند مدرعة في مدينة دوما.

ولم تشر وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية (سانا) الى القتال في دوما، لكنها قالت إن «مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة استهدفت بعبوة ناسفة حافلة على طريق الرقة _ حلب، تقلّ عدداً من الضباط وصف الضباط من إحدى الوحدات العسكرية، ما أدى الى استشهاد أحد العناصر وإصابة 42 آخرين من الضباط وصف الضباط». كما قالت الوكالة السورية إن «مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة» أخرى استهدفت بعبوة ناسفة قطاراً لشحن القمح المستخدم لصنع الخبز في إدلب.

وتجول مراقبو الأمم المتحدة في وسط مدينة حمص يوم السبت، حيث ساد الهدوء في الأحياء التي شهدت على مدى أسابيع عمليات عسكرية واسعة النطاق. وذكر المسؤول في طليعة بعثة المراقبين، نيراج سينغ، «بقي اثنان من المراقبين الدوليين منذ مساء السبت في حمص، التي زارها المراقبون يوم أمس». وأوضح سينغ «لقد كانت زيارة طويلة، التقى جنود حفظ السلام خلالها السلطات المحلية وجميع الأطراف وتكلموا مع الناس وقاموا بجولة في المدينة وتوقفوا في عدد من المناطق». وأشار المسؤول الى وجود «ثمانية مراقبين في سوريا، ومن المنتظر أن يصلها أيضاً مراقبان آخران الاثنين».

وبيّن شريط بثه ناشطون على الإنترنت عدداً من جنود حفظ السلام، بينهم رئيس الفريق العقيد أحمد حميش، وهم يتحدثون مع السكان في غرفة خلال زيارتهم لمدينة حمص. وأظهر مقطع الفيديو أحد سكان حي الخالدية وهو يتحدث الى المراقبين بالإنكليزية «من فضلكم ابقوا معنا، إن هذا مهم جداً»، مضيفاً «إن القصف يتوقف عندما تكونون هنا».

[ … ]

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:53 am


463. jad said:

SYRIA: UN Working With NATO to Provide Pretext for Intervention

UN “aid” program to be used in establishing NATO “humanitarian corridors.”

by Tony Cartalucci

Recently reported in Reuters’, “UN seeks Syria nod for major aid operation,” the UN is seeking to bring in “aid workers” and open offices all across Syria in order to carry out what they call a “major humanitarian operation.”

Syria has criticized certain nations of what is clearly the “politicizing of humanitarian aid.” Fortune 500-funded US policy think-tank, Brookings Institution has openly stated that US foreign policy would best be served by taking advantage of “gaining humanitarian access” allowing the West to “add further coercive action to its efforts” to topple the Syrian government. Specifically, Brookings foresees gaining such access may lead to establishing “safe-havens and humanitarian corridors” protected by NATO military forces, in yet another example of the “mission creep” that led to regime change in Libya. Such “creep” would give proxy militant forces unassailable positions to continue their campaign of violence against the Syrian people.

Despite the UN’s “peace plan” being fully rejected by both the Syrian rebels and their Western and Arab League backers who have openly pledged cash, weapons, and support for them to continue fighting, in full violation of the proposed ceasefire, the Western media has instead accused the Syrian government of failing to meet its obligations. As the West continues to fuel the violence, and if “humanitarian access” is approved, military intervention will be proposed to combat what will be claimed to be Syrian government “belligerence.”
Al Jazeera regular, Michael Weiss of HJS, openly admits that “diplomatic options” are merely being peddled to satisfy public opinion and that ultimately NATO will act unilaterally, outside of the UN, to militarily intervene.
Wall Street and London are determined to intervene in Syria with or without UN approval, illustrating again the absolute fraud that is “global governance” and international “rule of law.” When the West decides to intervene, it must be made sure that they do so openly as perpetrators of a war of aggression, as defined by the Nuremberg trials – the very precedence of the willfully abused international law now at play.

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:23 am


464. jad said:

The new ‘beloved’ leader of the revo in a Albab, northern of Aleppo is Ayman Alzawahri!? Ahleen!

تنسيقية الثورة في شمال حلب: الظواهري هنا لقيادة الثورة الاسلامية في سورية
عربي برس – حلب

وزع أعضاء فيما يسمى تنسيقية الثورة السورية في مدينة الباب شمال سورية بياناً لجماعة مسلحة تنشط في المنطقة جاء فيه إن الدكتور أيمن الظواهري سيحضر إلى الباب لقيادة الثورة الإسلامية في سورية .

وتتميز مدينة الباب شمال سورية بأنها من المناطق القليلة التي لم يقتل فيها أي متظاهر أو مسلح رغم وقوع عمليات إرهاب عديدة استهدفت بعبوات ناسفة و بالرصاص سيارات للشرطة، أو بيوت ضباط في الشرطة و مراكز حكومية، وخلف ذلك قتيلين، وعشرات الجرحى في صفوف الشرطة و الأمن وعابري السبيل من أهالي الباب نفسها .

وقال عبد الجبار سكر ( اسم مستعار) وهو من الناشطين في تظاهرات الباب لعربي برس لا ننكر سعي الجماعات المتشددة لركوب موجة الحراك الشعبي ، ولكن أمام قمع النظام فإننا نرحب بجميع الجهود الهادفة لإسقاط النظام الذي يتلقى الدعم بالرجال من إيران فكيف لا نقبل الدعم من إخواننا العرب في تنظيم القاعدة، وهم مشهود لهم بمقارعة الاحتلال الأمريكي .

وكان أيمن الظواهري الزعيم الجديد لتنظيم القاعدة أعلن الصيف الماضي وقوف تنظيم القاعدة إلى جانب المتظاهرين في سورية لإسقاط النظام .

وتذهب تقارير صحفية إلى أن ما يسمى بالجيش الحر ما هو إلا واجهة للجماعات التكفيرية التي تنشط تحت لواء ما يسمى بتنظيم القاعدة.

و أعلنت مواقع جهادية عن مقتل عدد من الوهابيين خلال “الجهاد” في سورية ويحملون جنسيات عربية مختلفة منها الليبية والسعودية والإماراتية والكويتية و الأردنية ، كان آخرهم ثلاثة تونسيين، وجزائريان قدما من فرنسا وبريطانيا .

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:31 am


465. Juergen said:

Sabah al khair to all, i hope i can give everyone a good fresh start in the day. This german lady choir went surely out of their usual way:!


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April 23rd, 2012, 1:37 am


466. jad said:

A blow to the saudi plan to invite Ghalyoun in the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement:

المعارضة السعودية تُحبط إشراك المعارضة السورية في «عدم الانحياز»
نزار عبود

نيويورك | منيت محاولة السعودية لنزع الشرعية عن سوريا، في داخل كتلة عدم الانحياز، بالفشل الذريع، بعدما فوجئ مندوب السعودية الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة، عبد الله المعلمي بأن المعارضة السعودية تستخدم نفس بطاقة الدخول التي قدمها للمعارضة السورية.

وتجدر الإشارة إلى أن تلك المبادرة كانت تهدد بشق حركة عدم الانحياز كما حصل لجامعة الدول العربية، مع كل ما لذلك من تداعيات على موازين القوى داخل الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة، مع العلم أن الخاسر الأكبر في هذه المعادلة ستكون حتماً القضية الفلسطينية.
وفي التفاصيل، عقد مكتب التنسيق لحركة عدم الانحياز، مساء أول من أمس، في نيويورك جلسة طارئة مغلقة برئاسة مندوب مصر ماجد عبد الفتاح، بعد توزيع رسالة قدمها مندوب السعودية، تطلب مشاركة ممثل عن المجلس الوطني السوري في الاجتماع الوزاري للحركة، الذي يعقد في شرم الشيخ من 7 إلى 10 أيار المقبل، كما تستطيع السعودية، بما تملكه من تأثير، كسب غالبية أصوات الدول، بالأخص كونها مدعومة من قبل غالبية أعضاء الجامعة العربية، لكن المفاجأة تمثلت في رسالة، جاءت من المعارض السعودي في واشنطن علي الأحمد، وُزعت على الأعضاء قبيل بدء الاجتماع، مطالبةً بالمعاملة المماثلة.
لم يوزع عبد الفتاح الطلب الذي كان قد تلقاه من الأحمد قبل أسبوعين، بعكس ما فعل بالطلب السوري، ما اضطر الأحمد إلى توجيه رسالة إلى رئيس مكتب التنسيق، ينتقده فيها بشدة، ويتهمه بـ «قلة المهنية والمسؤولية». ولمّا علمت السعودية بطلب المعارضة، تلكأ السفير السعودي المعلمي عن الاجتماع بنحو ربع ساعة، مع العلم أن مدة الاجتماع الإجمالية كانت تقل عن نصف ساعة، موعزاً للمندوب المصري بعدم طرح موضوع مشاركة المعارضة السورية، لكي لا تناقش القضيتان ويجري الربط بينهما.
إلى ذلك، وجد المندوبون أنفسهم في جلسة بدون جدول أعمال، واقتصر الحديث فيها عن الفنادق وتأمين الراحة للوفود، بحيث امتنع الجميع عن التحدث إلى وسائل الإعلام عند الخروج، لكن اللافت، وبرغم مقاطعة الوفود العربية لمندوب سوريا، أن مندوب الإمارات أحمد عبد الرحمن الجرمن أمضى وقتاً في حوار مع الجعفري خارج القاعة، وكذلك تحادث معه مندوب تركيا أرتغرول أباكان.

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:41 am


467. Syria no Kandahar said:

Alaaroor stripping:

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April 23rd, 2012, 2:30 am


468. Antoine said:

why is it always about me? JAD has vested interests in the survival of the regime.

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April 23rd, 2012, 2:36 am


469. Tara said:

Ak@145 from the previous thread,

I stand by my comment to ban that individual. Using an offensive slang to disparage gays is not acceptable, nor is it acceptable to comment on the assumed sexual preference of any commenter. This is a cultural “tashbeeh” and is repulsive and deplorable. Had a comment like that particular one not been trashed, I would have no interest in being on this site.

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April 23rd, 2012, 7:10 am


470. Syria no Kandahar said:

The lion king on Syrian border: Alassad Amotaaheb ,Thanks Arabs!
وبحث رئيس هيئة الاركان الاردنية المشتركة الفريق الركن مشعل محمد الزبن الاحد مع نظيره الامريكي الجنرال مارتن دمبسي في العاصمة الاردنية عمان التمرين المشترك الذي أطلق عليه اسم “الاسد المتأهب” في استعارة لا تخلو من دلالة على الجهة التي تستهدفها.

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:01 am


471. Syria no Kandahar said:

Bearded, mustachless wahabi terrorists kills another Dr today,They can’t stand educated Syrians ….remember they killed 300 Iraqi nuclear scientists:

وفي سياق متصل قالت الوكالة إن مسلحين استهدفوا صباح اليوم الطبيب عدنان توفيق السميط اختصاصي هضمية بدرعا.

ونقلت الوكالة عن مصدر في المحافظة قوله إن “المسلحين استهدفوا بنيران الأسلحة الرشاشة الطبيب السميط أمام منزله بحي القصور بمدينة درعا ما أدى إلى استشهاده على الفور”.

من جهة أخرى أشار المصدر إلى أن مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة أخرى أطلقت النار بشكل عشوائي اليوم في بلدة النعيمة بريف درعا بهدف ترويع المواطنين ومنعهم من التوجه إلى أعمالهم ما أدى إلى إصابة المواطنة مجدولين سليمان محمود14 عاما من أهالي بلدة المتاعية خلال ركوبها ميكروباصا متوجها إلى مدينة درعا.

وفي ريف درعا اغتال مسلحون الليلة الماضية المقدم سعيد عاصي في بلدة المسمية التابعة للصنمين.

وعلم مراسل سانا من مصدر رسمي أن المجموعة الإرهابية كمنت للشهيد عاصي وأطلقت نيران أسلحتها الرشاشة على سيارته خلال عودته من جولة له في إحدى التشكيلات العسكرية ما أدى إلى استشهاده.

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:10 am


472. Tara said:

Bronco @437

“Moderate Moslems need a Moslem spring where they could liberate themselves and express without fear what they really want as a society and fight against the extremists to disallow them the opportunity to make the agenda for them.”

I agree. Moderate Muslims should indeed launch a huge PR campaign to the effect of what you said above. There is a big deficiency in that regard. One would hope that rich GCC countries would take the lead on that. That is exactly why we need a spring in the KSA to lead such effort. HBJ can do the job too, but he is too busy handling ME crisis.

I like the number sign. I get jealous otherwise. Its a chromosomal thing.

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:10 am


473. Juergen said:


left : Oh Muslims, see this is an american-israeli conspiracy!
right: Oh World, its an islamist conspiracy!

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:12 am


474. Syria no Kandahar said:

Totally agree, I think the (Syrian revolution ) has a major rule in this PR to show the world moderate Islam, especially the honorable Shiek Alaaroor, The revolution Shiek, he should be sitting with the Pope to teach him the tolarance which KSA practices. This Syrian spring is transferring a beautiful picture about moderate Islam, for example the (burial brigade) or the hanging of mentally handicapped in Duma and much more…many of (Islamohaters) decided to declare their Islam after watching that…Thanks Abdelrazak Tlass …Thanks Khaled Abosalah …Thanks Omer Altellawi…your staged Aljazera Massacres had beautified and risen the star of moderate Islam..

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:30 am


475. Mina said:

“The GCC countries… take the lead in a PR campaign for Moderate Muslims” ? I fail to see the logic. Do you think the GCC has ever done anything to promote moderate Islam ? It is precisely the contrary that commenters are arguing here.

It is not exactly in their interest, but probably from within Dubai shopping malls and 5 stars hotels, the difference does not appear too evident.

Why otherwise would they be crushing on Sufism and not allow freedom of expression for the other religions within their sheikhdoms?

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:33 am


476. Mina said:

Before they can promote anything “moderate” maybe they should start with a conference on defining the word?
“An angry 4-year-old Saudi boy shot and killed his father for refusing to buy him a PlayStation, Saudi media reported on Monday….”
“Parliament will discuss Monday a statement by Adl Party’s MP Mostafa al-Naggar about the kidnapping of an Egyptian activist and lawyer who defends Egyptian detainees in Saudi Arabia.

The statement claims that the lawyer, Ahmed al-Gizawy, was abducted by the Saudi authorities while performing Umra, or minor pilgrimage.

“I’ll submit tomorrow a statement to Parliament about the kidnapping of Ahmed al-Gizawy in Saudi Arabia, demanding information about the circumstances of the incident and an intervention to lift injustice off him,” Naggar tweeted on Sunday.

According to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper, Naggar referred in the statement to unconfirmed news that Gizawy was sentenced to one year in prison and 20 lashes for lese-majesty, which he considers a violation of Egyptians’ dignity.

Saudi authorities detained Gizawy last Tuesday following a TV show on which he criticized King Abdullah for detaining dozens of Egyptians there.

His wife, Shahenda al-Gizawy — who was with him when he was arrested — said, “We arrived at Jeddah airport on Tuesday at 6 am. He was arrested and I was left free. I had to complete the trip with the group we were with. It’s scheduled to return after the end of the Umra on 28 April.”

She said that on their arrival they were surprised to learn that her husband had been sentenced to one year in prison and 20 lashes.”

The number of kidnappings seems like a good criteria to define a civilized country. Suddenly, South America and the Arab world get very close.

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:55 am


477. Syria no Kandahar said:

Some of the victims of Wahabi (moderate Islam ):

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April 23rd, 2012, 9:58 am


478. Syria no Kandahar said:

If this report is true,it is a major victory for Syrian Alqaeda and the beginning of dissolution of the Syrian state:

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April 23rd, 2012, 10:04 am


479. Tara said:


Thanks for volunteering an opinion. My comment was addressed to Bronco. I am interested in HIS opinion. I am not interested in a schizophrenic belief system. You just can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t shed tear on death in Bahrain showed on Youtube links and denies these tears when reviewing same Youtube links when coming from Syria. You either believe Youtube or not. Same applicable to your attitude in regard to the media. You believe the exact same media outlet when it discusses Bahrain and not when it discusses Syria. Sorry but I really have no interest. I am only interested in genuine exchanges.

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April 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am


480. Syria no Kandahar said:

You need a special permit to respond,The same way the FSA terrorist got a permit befor they occupied Alhemedia Christian Homsis houses.
You can’t just give an opinion or post your comment here without فطوم permit.if you want a free monthly pass to respond the whole month free you can just close one eye on FSA crimes and just
See the other side,If you want a yearly free pass to
Respond close both eyes on FSA crimes and make up stories on the other side.if you want a liife time pass you can’t have it …you have to be Khaled Tlass or the old Arboud.

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April 23rd, 2012, 10:46 am


481. Tara said:


No need for permit. Every one can post what they want when they want. I was only expressing my interest and who can influence my opinion.

It is MY interest and I can be interested in anything I want. It is called a freedom of interest.

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:03 am


482. Mina said:

Yep, noticed that long ago… As they have it now: you can’t be Muslim and not support the Wahhabis, otherwise you are a schizophrene! Then they even make “tashkil” and explain you that actually the Salafis are different from the Wahhabis, etc, etc.

The GCC is just sooooo famous for its achievements in art, culture, tolerance, freedom, social improvements, workers rights, education, women equality,respect, what did I forget?

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:05 am


483. jad said:

After calling for Alzawhri, more terrorists are getting into Syria to lead the military attacks, nothing new:

واشنطن بوست: متطرفون اسلاميون يتوافدون الى داخل سورية لقيادة الأعمال العسكرية
وكالات – عربي برس

ذكرت صحيفة “واشنطن بوست” أن “هناك أدلة متزايدة على أن”متطرفين إسلاميين” يسعون لأن يقودوا عسكرياً ما بدأ على شكل انتفاضة غير أيديولوجية في سورية تهدف إلى تأمين قدر أكبر من الحرية السياسية”، ناقلة عن “ناشطين وجود خطر حقيقي بأن يدفع هذا الوضع بالمعارضين المحبطين نحو التطرّف”.
ونقلت الصحيفة عن ناشطين وجنود منشقين داخل سورية أن “عدداً قليلاً لكن متزايداً من” المتطرفين الإسلاميين” الذين ينتمون إلى حركات “جهادية” عالمية يصلون منذ الأسابيع الأخيرة إلى معاقل المعارضة ويحاولون حشد تأييد السكان”.

واشار دبلوماسيون غربيون للصحيفة أنهم “تعقبوا تقاطراً ثابتاً من الجهاديين الذين يتدفقون إلى سورية من العراق، واعتقلت الحكومة الأردنية ما لا يقل عن 4 متشددين أردنيين مشتبه بهم بمحاولة التسلل إلى سورية للانضمام إلى الثوار”.

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:25 am


484. zoo said:

As other sanctions did not work, there’ll be no more caviar or perfumes for Syria.

The ironic part is that caviar comes from Russia and Iran and souk al Hamidieh is full of perfumes… A bonus for both

In Luxembourg, the European Union banned the sale of luxury goods and products that can have military as well as civilian uses to Syria.
The only precedent in international relations for the luxury ban is one imposed by the EU in 2007 on North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
That ban included foods such as caviar and truffles, high-quality wines and spirits, perfumes and purebred horses.

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:35 am


485. bronco said:

#472 Tara

“One would hope that rich GCC countries would take the lead on that.”

KSA has been the main promoter of extremism, I think it would oppose violently any “moderate Islam” as any sign of ‘moderation’ will certainly bring down the royal family and the whole system.

The same applies to Qatar at a lesser degree because of its very small population.

They are the main enemies of moderation but most moderate moslems hesitate in denouncing their evil influence because of their financial power and the poverty of most Arab countries.

For now, the only Arab country that dared antagonizing KSA and Qatar, unafraid of the consequences, is Syria, that has been an example of ‘moderate’ Islam in the region.

I hope it’ll remains so, despite the recent attempts by the enemies to throw Syrians against each other based on their religion under the pretext of extracting them from an ‘evil’ and arrogant dictatorship.

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April 23rd, 2012, 11:55 am


486. zoo said:

Are the USA and the Western countries getting worried about extremists because they could get close to Israel’s borders? Did the terrorist attack in Kuneitra rang a bell?

Fears of extremism taking hold in Syria as violence continues

By Liz Sly, Published: April 22

BEIRUT — As Syria’s revolution drags into its second year amid few signs that a U.N.-mandated cease-fire plan will end the violence, evidence is mounting that Islamist extremists are seeking to commandeer what began as a non-ideological uprising aimed at securing greater political freedom.

Activists and rebel soldiers based inside Syria say a small but growing number of Islamist radicals affiliated with global jihadi movements have been arriving in opposition strongholds in recent weeks and attempting to rally support among disaffected residents.

Western diplomats say they have tracked a steady trickle of jihadists flowing into Syria from Iraq, and Jordan’s government last week detained at least four alleged Jordanian militants accused of trying to sneak into Syria to join the revolutionaries.

A previously unknown group calling itself the al-Nusra Front has asserted responsibility for bombings in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo using language and imagery reminiscent of the statements and videos put out by al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations in Iraq, although no evidence of the group’s existence has surfaced other than the videos and statements it has posted on the Internet.

Syrian activists and Western officials say the militants appear to be making little headway in recruiting supporters within the ranks of the still largely secular protest movement, whose unifying goal is the ouster of the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad.
Flow of jihadis reported

U.S. officials and Western diplomats in the region, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, say they have seen several indications that al-Qaeda-like groups are trying to inject themselves into the Syrian revolution, although they stress that the Islamist radicals’ impact has been limited. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on “mujaheddin” to head to Syria in support of the rebels earlier this year, and Western diplomats are convinced that operatives affiliated with al-Qaeda carried out a string of bombings in Damascus and Aleppo between December and March.

The diplomats say dozens of jihadis have been detected crossing the border from Iraq into Syria, some of them Syrians who had previously volunteered to fight in Iraq and others Iraqi. There may also be other foreign nationals among them, reversing the journey they took into Iraq years ago when jihadis flowed across the border to fight the now-departed Americans.


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April 23rd, 2012, 12:06 pm


487. jerusalem said:

This video shows Freedom of expression US style during Condoleezza Rice speech

US war-murdered 20-30 million since WW2: arrest today’s War Criminals

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:17 pm


488. jad said:

A very good article and good interviews with Pro-Government Syrians:

Anti-Imperialist Syrians Speak Out

Syrian Sovereigntists Oppose Imperialist Destabilization of Their Country

by Joshua Blakeney

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of acquainting myself with a segment of the vast Syrian community who oppose the ongoing covert interventions in Syria and who generally think their current government is doing a good job, all things considered. An intrepid citizen journalist named Michelle Robinson drew my attention to a network of marginalized pro-Assad Syrians based in my city of residence, Calgary, Alberta. Whereas most activists in the West have been hoodwinked by the Zionist-influenced media into blindly supporting the broadly defined “Syrian opposition” my fellow Calgarian had the independence of mind to seek out these opposers of the opposition who offered a more nuanced — and in my view reasonable — analysis to the Syrian debacle.

Michelle artfully produced a series of You Tube interviews with these Syrians, many of whom are receiving hostility from well-funded, well-protected Islamist groups which, for ideological reasons, oppose the Assad government and it’s many supporters. When they call the police to report the death threats they’ve been receiving these Syrians get asked “are you pro-Assad or anti-Assad?” With the Canadian neocon government funding anti-government elements in Syria it is not surprising that these Canadian-Syrians who endorse the Syrian government feel that they are being unjustly treated by the Canadian state and it’s supposed “law enforcement system.” Indeed these Syrian patriots even went so far as to insinuate that the Canadian state was consciously nurturing Islamist groups in order to import the Middle East’s sectarian problems into Canada which would have the effect of making Canadians more likely to view the world through Israel’s anti-Arab spectacles.

I also went to interview these pro-government Syrians at an undisclosed location and was thoroughly moved by their compelling testimony. These Syrian sovereigntists contend that there are reactionary terrorists destabilizing their country at the behest of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. These, often non-Syrian, terrorists are being characterized as “human rights activists” by the mainstream media in the West because Israel and its stooges in the US government benefit from a terrorized, factionalized Syria. These Syrians are thus grateful that their government led by President Assad is using the military to weed out the insurgents who are, literally, killing their family members and destroying their nation. They legitimately fear their country degenerating into civil war and internal sectarianism.

All of those I interviewed emphasized the fissiparous nature of Syria, with it’s eighteen different ethnic groups that are unified by the current government led by the largely secular President Assad. Of course, a comparatively secular government that unites disparate ethnic groups and stands up to the Zionist colonizer, that has illegally occupied the Golan Heights since 1967, is anathema to imperialist interventionists.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:20 pm


489. zoo said:

So does any big power, why singling out Russia?

Moscow Mixes Profit with Principle in Syria
April 20, 2012 05:17 PM
By: Stephen Blank

To hear Moscow tell it, Russia’s aims in Syria are only motivated by principle. It opposes the use of ambiguous UN resolutions to permit intervention to forcibly democratize a country, an outcome that it believes invariably leads to protracted war. Russia is also against forcing out Bashar al-Assad. Moscow fears he will be replaced by a Sunni Arab regime that may then become a terrorist Islamist regime.

But, behind the headlines and official meetings, the truth is rather more prosaic. It is quite clear that Moscow opposes any autonomous democratic politics whether it occurs in Libya, Syria or closer to home. Moscow fears that such examples will reverberate throughout Russia and the CIS as they did in the previous presidential election.

But perhaps the most cynical aspect of Russian policy here – beyond its hypocrisy, invocation of the old colonialist tactic of gunboat diplomacy, and open contempt for Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar who strongly oppose Assad’s rampages – is its shameless quest for material gain out of this crisis. Thus on March 17, Mohammad al-Kishto, Chairman of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce, announced that Gazprom would take over the Croatian energy company Ina’s oil and gas fields in Syria worth billions of dollars. This allows Syria to claim that it has not been hurt by the departure of foreign oil and gas firms because of the availability of Russian competition (, March 17).

More to the point, these oil and gas fields are undoubtedly the price exacted by Moscow for its services rendered to Damascus. Indeed this second example of neo-colonialist takeover should hardly surprise anyone who closely follows Putin’s polices. In his Question and Answer session with the State Duma on April 11, the outgoing Russian Prime Minister asserted that Moscow has invested repeatedly in the Middle East not out of any ideological solidarity with them but in order to make money and advance its interests (, April 11). Clearly, in this case Moscow charged a price for its support of Damascus and it has now been paid.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:25 pm


491. zoo said:

First serious toll for the US and Israel from ‘democracy’ in Egypt. More will probably follow

Israel says peace treaty at risk after Egypt scraps gas deal

CAIRO/JERUSALEM – The Associated Press
Israel’s energy minister is urging Egypt to reverse its decision to stop supplying Israel with natural gas.

Uzi Landau says the canceled deal will not only exacerbate power shortages this summer but also disrupt an already shaky peace treaty between the two countries.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:33 pm


492. Uzair8 said:

Are we seeing the surprise sight of bearded soldiers amongst Assad troops because army barbers have been called to the frontline to make up for the shortage of loyal manpower?

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm


493. zoo said:

Anyone has seen that Youtube clip that the KSA mouthpiece refers to?

UN delegation of the “terrified” in Syria
By Tariq Alhomayed

A YouTube video-clip has appeared showing the international monitors being targeted and shot at by forces belonging to the tyrant of Damascus, whilst members of the FSA formed a human barrier to protect them as they were beset by panic. Indeed this video-clip shows one FSA member protecting one of the international monitors from gunfire, reassuring him by saying “don’t be afraid!” Of course, anybody who views this YouTube video-clip understand the extent of the irony inherent in this situation, and as the saying goes, the worst disaster is the one that brings laughter, particularly when we are looking at a UN monitoring delegation transform into a delegation of the “terrified”.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:50 pm


494. Halabi said:

I wonder how Ayman Al Zawahiri will make contact with the nascent Al Qaeda in Al-Bab. Maybe Abu Musab Al Suri, who was recently released by Assad and is now reportedly operating from Iran, could help out. ..

Arabi Press seems like a great source. The report said no protesters or armed men from Al-Bab, a small city near Aleppo where Hikmat Shihabi’s family is from, have been killed, despite many attacks on police and civilians that killed two unnamed people.

Of course, like all pro-Assad propaganda, this is a lie. There are many martyrs in Al-Bab. Here are some recent ones:

It’s important to note that Assad’s top cleric, mufti Ahmad Hassoun, has threatened Europe and the U.S. with sleeper cells who are ready to strike with suicide bombs. Assad’s Syria has sponsored terrorist groups in Iraq and his security apparatus has killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians over the years. But now we have to believe that the good people of Al-Bab are the terrorists.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:56 pm


495. Uzair8 said:

The latest Shaykh Yaqoubi tweet:

The liberation of Palestine will be done through Syria, as told in several hadiths; ousting Assad is the first right step towards it.!/Shaykhabulhuda

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:57 pm


496. Afram said:

483. zoo said:

In Luxembourg, the European Union banned the sale of luxury goods and products that can have military as well as civilian uses to Syria.
I see the Euro zoned-Out zombies didnt ban the traditional Afghani designer baggy pants for allahu akbar Chanter’s?

Pants are dual use goods/ normally used for civilian purposes have also military applications,hehhaaa

1-can be used as life saving floatation device during flood season.

2- a place to hide Hand Grenades

Mullah Burhan is wearing one and testing it for leaks in Istanbouly bathtub but having a problem hiding the 3% yellow zift rubber ducks inplace of the Bazookas..Europeans are just outright ridiculous, folks.

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm


497. jad said:

Alqaeda clergy and its supporters and Jihadists keep telling us the same mantra for over 70 years, let’s add another one to the list, Alsheikh Aldajal:

الطريق إلى القدس

برأي قسم أساسيّ من المشاركين في المؤتمر الذي انعقد في الدوحة باسم القدس, أنَّ الطريق إلى القدس يمرّ الآن بدمشق! ويبدو لي أنَّ الطريق إلى القدس مِنْ أغرب الطرق, على الإطلاق, وعلى مرّ التاريخ. فذات مرَّة كان يمرّ بأفغانستان, وكان على مَنْ يريد تحرير القدس أنْ ينطلق مِنْ أيّ ركنٍ عربيّ أو إسلاميّ هو موجودٌ فيه, حتَّى لو كان القدس نفسها, ويذهب إلى أفغانستان, ليحارب حكومتها اليساريَّة والسوفييت. وأُنفِقتْ أموال عربيَّة طائلة, بسخاء, على هذه الحرب, ووفِّرتْ لها أحدث أنواع الأسلحة الأمريكيَّة وأشدّها فتكاً, وتطوَّع للقتال فيها ألوف الشبّان العرب والمسلمين, وأَغدَقَ سيِّد البيت الأبيض, آنذاك, رونالد ريغان, على قادتها لقب “المجاهدين مِنْ أجل الحريَّة”.

في النهاية, تمكَّن “المجاهدون مِنْ أجل الحريَّة” مِنْ تحقيق نصرٍ مؤزِّرٍ للأمريكيين على أفغانستان والسوفييت; إذ تمَّ تحويل أفغانستان, مِنْ يوم ذاك, إلى دولة فاشلة متخلِّفة, بعدما كانت دولةً متحضرةً ناهضة. ولو سردنا الوقائع والأرقام والإحصاءات المتعلِّقة بما كانت عليه الحياة في ذلك البلد الصديق المنكوب, لذُهِل الكثيرون, ممَّن لا يعرفون, مِنْ حجم التحوّل المأساويّ الذي ألمَّ به بعد انتصار “المجاهدين مِنْ أجل الحريَّة” وحلفائهم عليه.

ولقد حقَّق أولئك, أيضاً, إنجازاً سياسيّاً آخر أهمّ مِنْ ذلك بكثير, ألا وهو مساعدتهم الولايات المتَّحدة على إزاحة الاتِّحاد السوفييتيّ مِنْ طريقها لتصبح قطباً أوحد يتربَّع بكلِّ عنجهيَّته على سدَّة النفوذ الدوليّ. ولقد ذقنا, على يد هذا القطب, عندما توحَّد, الأمرّين; بمَنْ فينا أولئك الذين خاضوا حربه بالمال والسلاح والرجال. والأهمّ أنَّنا صرنا أبعد عن القدس بكثير. ومع ذلك, فحتَّى الآن, لم يقف أحدٌ, مِنْ هؤلاء, وقفةً شجاعة وصادقة, ليقول إنَّه يتحمَّل مسؤوليَّة الكوارث التي جرَّتها تلك الحرب المدمِّرة علينا وعلى العالم أجمع.

وبعد ذلك, قيل لنا إنَّ الطريق إلى القدس يمرّ بيوغسلافيا, وإنَّنا بنصرة مسلمي البوسنة والهرسك, هناك, سنصبح أقرب إلى القدس. وفي النهاية, مكَّنا الغربَ مِنْ شنّ حربه الإجراميَّة على يوغسلافيا, والتخلّص مِنْ آخر دولة مستقلَّة ومحترمة في وسط أوروبّا, كانت لا تزال خارجة عن هيمنته.

ويوغسلافيا, تلك, التي شاركنا في تقويضها, كانت نصيراً ثابتاً للعرب وقضاياهم العادلة. والآن, فإنَّ البوسنة والهرسك, التي انتصرنا لها, لا تكلِّف خاطرها حتَّى بأنْ تصوِّت إلى جانبنا وجانب قضايانا في الهيئات الدوليَّة.

[ … ]

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:09 pm


498. jad said:

Very true reflection of many highly scored bachaloria students who are obviously strong supporters of Adnan Al 3ar3our:

مازن مغربية

غريبٌ أمر بعض من يسمي نفسه بالمعارض والساعي للحرية من الأصدقاء القدامى والجدد بل ومن بعض الأقارب والمقربين… الذين يضعون لك خطوطاً حمراء… إياك ثم إياك تجاوزها أو المساس بها..
إن لم تؤيد المجلس الوطني بأدق التفاصيل فأنت لست بمعارض.. إن لم تؤمن بضرورة التسلح فأنت تساهم في قتل الأبرياء وخائن لدم الشهداء.. إن لم تكن مع التدخل العسكري والحظر الجوي وممرات إنسانية فأنت بلا ضمير.. إن لم تكن مع أسلمة الحراك وأنت مسلم فإنك تخالف واجبك وتكليفك الشرعي!!.. إن لم تتظاهر لأن شعارات بعض الشارع المنتفض قد نفّرتك فإنك تقتلهم بصمتك ولا تتمتع بأي ذرة من النخوة والناموس.. إن لم تصدق كل ما تقوله الجزيرة والعربية فبالتأكيد أن تصدق كل ما تقوله الدنيا والقناة السورية وبالتالي فأنت بوق للنظام.. إياك ثم إياك انتقاد أخطاء بعض المعارضة فقد توصف بالصابئ.. إن كان لك صديق موالي فبالتأكيد أنت مثله وتتبنى كامل فكره فاحترام الرأي الآخر ممنوع ومحرم.. إن كنت ضد تقسيم الجيش فأنت شبيح وأسدي.. إن خشيت من الحرب الأهلية فأنت كاذب وتكرر روايات النظام.. إن كنت مع الحلول السياسية ومع الحوار فأنت تريد تجميل النظام وبقائه إلى الأبد وضد تغييره… يبدو أن البعض من سلالة فرعون ويسيرون على مبدأ لا أريكم إلا ما أرى.. والبعض الآخر أخذ مكان الرقيب والعتيد ويسجل عليك همساتك وأنفاسك… عزيزي المعارض المعتدل إياك أن تُغضب هؤلاء لأنهم إن استلموا الحكم يوماً ما سيقيمون لنا محاكم تفتيش في القرن الواحد والعشرين…

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:32 pm


499. Tara said:


Qatar has done many good things in the Arab world and you know it. Qatar was friendly with Bashar until he started his killing spree. It is not right to judge people/countries based on whether they support Batta or not.

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April 23rd, 2012, 1:37 pm


500. jna said:

In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist Blows Himself Up
Lebanese terror leader Abdel Ghani Jawhar detonated himself accidentally in Syria, raising questions about the kind of company the rebels are keeping

Read more:

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April 23rd, 2012, 2:03 pm


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